|Philippines Presidential Frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte|
Photo Credit: PhilippinePride.com
Thursday, April 28, 2016
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – “If it’s destiny to be assassinated hanggang diyan na lang ako (then my life stops there),” declared by presidential front runner Rodrigo Duterte when asked if he was not anxious that the military and the Central Intelligence Agency might kill him because he is friendly with the communists and a threat to the U.S military interest in Asia.
Lately, media reported that Francis Bundoc Besin called Bong Go, the chief aide of Duterte, that two assassins have been hired for ten million pesos to liquidate the presidential aspirant from powerful sniper rifles provided by principals in the police.
“If God wants me to be president I will be there,” he stressed to this paper after the third leg of the presidential debate held here last Sunday.
In the April 18-20 Social Weather Station’s polls, the Davao City mayor led by six points to 33 percent his nearest presidential opponent Senator Grace Poe who received only 24 percent from the voters.
The survey’s time frame included his gaffe about his humor why he was not included first in the queue to rape the Australian missionary 36-year-old Jacqueline Hamil who was gang raped by hostage takers in 1989.
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – The vice presidential tandem of presidential front runner Rodrigo Duterte disclosed he would accept any government position that would be offered to him under the Duterte’s Administration.
|Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo|
Duterte at a gun and ammunition show in Manila. PHOTO
“Kung ano ang gusto ng Panginoon sa akin sa vice presidency o hinde at kung ano ang ibibigay na trabaho ni Mayor Duterte at ng ating kababayan tatangapin ko yan kahit walang position,” Senator Alan Peter Cayetano told this paper when asked if he would not win the vice presidency would he accept a post like the Department of Interior & Local Government after the one year appointment ban in case Davao City’s mayor Duterte wins the presidency.
For several years, Cayetano had been shuttling back and forth the country to help the marginalized sector through his ballyhooed Presyo-Trabaho-Kita (PTK) program.
In Pangasinan alone he gave an average of P150 thousand to every marginalized sector like transport group and fish vendors to alleviate their plight and prevent them borrowing to usurers who dangle a 5-6 or 20 percent interest a month money credit.
Cayetano not only give monies for free but add another tranche if he sees the recipients have invested it wisely for their benefit.
Monday, April 25, 2016
The Bureau of Corrections deserves kudos for its regular inspections of inmates’ quarters at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, former Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.
Lacson said that without the inspections under Oplan Galugad, some inmates would still enjoy unwarranted privileges including access to luxury items and exotic pets.
“Buti ang NBP, ang bagong director (ng BuCor), I take my hat off to him, sige ang kanyang raid, di makaporma (ang inmates),” he said in an interview on the ABS-CBN News Channel.
He said there have been many reports of some inmates getting privileges, with big-time drug pushers continuing their operations even from behind bars.
Past inspections under Oplan Galugad had yielded items ranging from appliances to exotic pets and even improvised weapons.
Lacson, who headed the Philippine National Police from 1999 to 2001, noted big-time drug lords from China still enjoy the good life even after being sentenced to imprisonment at the national penitentiary.
“Ang mga big-time drug lords from Mainland China sa Pilipinas pupunta, kasi doon maski ma-convict ako, may bungalow ako, tuloy ang aking trade. I’ll continue plying my trade as a drug dealer and manufacturer,” he said.
“Dito maski nakakulong they live like kings,” he added.
We challenge the next leaders of the country to improve the lot of our fishers, ensure food security and champion the transition to sustainable fisheries.
The 3rd and last Presidential debate allowed the fishers, marine conservationists, and food and agriculture advocates a peek into how the next administration will look at our marine ecosystem, on which majority of the Filipinos are heavily reliant in terms of food and livelihood. It seems that fisheries will still be relegated to the fringes and will be lumped under an agricultural framework by all candidates, except for former Secretary Mar Roxas and Senator Grace Poe who both briefly articulated in their opening statements the issue of municipal waters and mechanisms for allowing our seas to recover.
1. The industry accounted for 13.8% (Php 197.1 billion) and 18.2 % (Php130.5 billion) of the Gross Value Added (GVA) in agriculture, fishery and forestry group with an average annual increase of GVA from 2008-2014 at 2% and -0.3% at current prices and constant prices, respectively.
2. The fishing industry's contribution to the Philippines' Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of PhP 12,643 billion at current prices is 1.6 % or Php 197.1 billion. At constant prices, the fishing industry's contribution to GDP of Php 7,164 billion is 1.8 % or Php 130.5 billion;
3. The fishing industry employs an estimated 1.6 million. Fisheries and aquatic products are the primary source of cheap animal protein in the country; and4. Coastal and marine ecosystems, such as mangroves and coral reefs, provide natural coastal protection against storm surges, strong typhoons and winds.
The fisherfolk have gained so much under the current administration with the amendments of the Philippine Fisheries Code to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Despite the reduction of poverty incidence among fishers by less than 2%, there is still a lot of things to do as we start the long road towards achieving sustainable fisheries in the Philippines.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Keynote Speech of Senator Loren Legarda
Public Forum Assessing Compliance of LGUs’ Implementation of Waste Management
18 April 2016 | Leyte Normal University, Tacloban City
“Each year hundreds of millions of tons of waste are generated, much of it non-biodegradable, highly toxic and radioactive, from homes and businesses, from construction and demolition sites, from clinical, electronic and industrial sources. The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”
I have just quoted Pope Francis in his encyclical, Laudato Si’,which profoundly explains how humans have been destroying the only planet we call home.
One of the things he has called for is to veer away from the throwaway culture and adopt a circular model of production and consumption to preserve our resources.
Technically, we have already responded to this call when in 2001, we enacted Republic Act No. 9003 or The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which mandates segregation of waste and establishment of a materials recovery facility (MRF) so that only residual waste are sent to sanitary landfills. It patronizes recycling and the use of recyclable materials to minimize waste output. It bans open dumpsites, the use of incinerators, and burning of waste. It promotes the use of environment-friendly disposal of solid waste.
The Philippines actually has one of the most beautiful laws on solid waste management in the world. But why have our rivers and bodies of water become filthy?
The Manila Bay, a source of food, livelihood and recreation to an estimated 23 million Filipinos, remains polluted with tons of garbage. More than 60 percent of the waste collected by environmental groups in the Manila Bay clean-up drives are made of plastic.
In fact, the Philippines is the third top contributor of plastic waste that enters the oceans with around 0.28-0.75 million metric tons of plastic marine waste annually, next only to China and Indonesia.
This is very dangerous because plastic can choke and poison marine species and damage marine ecosystems. Ultimately, it can affect humans through the fish that we eat.
There is also the danger of environmental disasters caused by mismanaged waste such as trash slides—like what happened in Payatas, Manila in 2000 and Irisan, Baguio in 2011—and the flooding we experience during downpours because of garbage-clogged waterways.
All of this we could prevent if only we followed the law.
It has been 15 years since we passed RA 9003, but according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), as of 2015, only 36 percent, or 545 local government units (LGUs), have complied with all aspects of this legislation.
In 2013, the Office of the Ombudsman, through its Environmental Ombudsman, led the launch of the “Solid Waste Management Law Voluntary Compliance Program.”
Phase 1 of the program was the conduct of LGUs’ self-assessment based on their compliance with the provisions of RA 9003. Letters were sent to 1,634 LGUs but only 417 conducted self-assessment—135 LGUs assessed themselves as satisfactorily compliant and 282 assessed themselves as less satisfactory.
Now, the Environmental Ombudsman is in Phase 2 of the program, which is the filing of cases against non-compliant LGUs.
I support the Ombudsman and all its partners in this bold move against LGUs that have failed to comply with RA 9003, particularly those that still operate open dumpsites, have not built MRFs, do not implement segregation at source, and have not submitted a 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan.
The grace period has long been overdue. It is time that those who still fail to comply with the law face the consequences of their inaction.
As the Ombudsman proceeds with legal action against erring LGUs, I also encourage everyone, every citizen, every household to do their respective share in implementing the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law.
The heart of the ESWM Law is its inherent purpose towards a paradigm shift, a change to a low carbon, zero waste lifestyle. That is why segregation at source is among the main facets of the law because implementation must start in our own homes.
The ESWM Law and the multitude of environmental laws we have—Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Renewable Energy Law, Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Law, People’s Survival Fund Law, among others—are instruments in ensuring that we are on the path to sustainable and resilient development.
We are in the midst of a global crisis caused by climate change. The greenhouse gases (GHG) that have become trapped in our atmosphere have caused the rapid rise of the Earth’s temperature and it is affecting our lives and our future as we experience extreme weather events, loss of biodiversity, food instability, among other impacts.
On April 22, Earth Day, nations will converge in New York to sign the Paris Agreement, which was the result of the climate negotiations in Paris culminating last December.
The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to limit global temperature rise within the century “well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”
We rally our fellow vulnerable nations to ensure the early entry into force of the Agreement. But when we commit to this treaty, we must realize that the commitment goes beyond what the government is expected to do. Every citizen has a responsibility to keep our promises and turn them into action.
As individuals, we must concretize our participation in climate action and make it part of our daily living by adopting a low carbon lifestyle.
In a low carbon lifestyle, individuals and communities commit to change their daily routine and practices to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to create carbon dioxide sinks. The aggregate of these individual and community efforts will considerably mitigate climate change. Learning how to manage our local resources will eventually lead to the sustainability of our country. Ultimately, the objective is to help the world manage its ecological assets more judiciously so that humanity can live within the Earth’s limitations.
The effective implementation of the ESWM Law is part of our climate mitigation efforts as it promotes not only the efficient and eco-friendly management of our solid waste, but also adopting a zero waste lifestyle, which means reusing, recycling, upcycling, avoiding buying unnecessary goods, and patronizing products that produce zero to minimal waste.
As principal author and sponsor of this law, I lament the low compliance rate we have achieved in the 15 years that this measure has been in effect. But I maintain my optimism because today I see the Ombudsman and the DENR, supported by non-government organizations and advocacy groups, at the forefront of this battle to urge and compel LGUs to implement the ESWM Law and all other environmental laws.
Moreover, in the 2016 national budget, P500 Million was allocated under the DENR for capacity building programs for LGUs for the implementation of the ESWM Law. This is our way of giving further support to achieve 100 percent compliance.
In closing, I wish to go back to Pope Francis’ encyclical. He said, “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. ”
Let us work together to redefine development—to change our way of thinking and our way of doing.
Let us veer away from the throwaway culture and aim for a zero waste economy.
Let us turn our back on extractive and consumptive practices and adopt the concept of sustainable development and low carbon lifestyle.
Let us give nothing less than our wholehearted commitment to our duty as stewards of the earth so that we, and the generations to come, can live in a safe, clean, healthy and resilient world.
"Let others present their plans. We will just do it."
This was the promise made by vice presidential candidate and Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano during the “Harapan ng Bise” vice presidential debate hosted by ABS-CBN on Sunday (April 17).
During the first part of the debate, the candidates were given two minutes each to present their proposed platform to address the country’s most pressing issues, including corruption, education, health, employment, and peace and order.